Kido Takayoshi House

Travel Information


Kido Takayoshi House (木戸孝允旧宅) is one of the remaining Samurai Houses located Hagi city, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Kido Takayoshi is one of the legendary Samurai who made the Meiji Restoration. This Samurai house preserves the old time of the Samurai House.

Tourist Info.
There is no parking.
There is the restroom.
Admission: 100 JPY
Business hours: 9:00 to 17:00

0. at Hagi station.
1. use a local bus to Hagijojokamachi.


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Detailed Travel Guide

Kido Takayoshi House
From the street, the childhood home of 19th-century statesman Kido Takayoshi (also known as Katsura Kogoro), appears to be a typical single-floor townhouse. Stepping into the courtyard reveals a second story, a piece of visual trickery that is no accident, as having a second story was generally forbidden during the Edo period. The second floor allowed the residents to look down on passersby (in particular, passing samurai), which was considered improper. The wealthy family could afford the second story, but as a matter of political expediency and personal well-being, they had it built hidden from the street.

Born in this house as Wada Korogo, Kido was adopted into the elite Kasura family at the age of seven. In 1849, he joined the Meirinkan, the domain school where Yoshida Shoin taught military science. Shoin promoted Western technologies and loyalty to the emperor, Kido moved to Edo in 1852, but he returned to Hagi in 1856 to support the construction of Choshu domain's first Western-style warship. He was well connected to the growing resistance to the Tokugawa shogunate and, following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Kido played a major role in the creation of the new imperial state. In 1871, he joined the statesmen and scholars of the Iwakura Mission, whose purpose was to tour the West and gain recognition for the new Meiji state, renegotiate the unequal treaties that had been signed in the 1850s and 1860s, and study Western institutions.

Today, Kido's former home is open to the public and has on display photographs from his life and examples of his artwork and calligraphy. It is a Nationally Designated Historic Site.